Saturday, October 21, 2017

ArtSpeaks 2017: "Tonight, Art Is For Everyone"

ArtSpeaks promotional card
Last night I attended the very successful "ArtSpeaks 2017" event at the Ottawa City Hall in the Jean Pigott Hall.

"ArtSpeaks is a new concept in the art community, which seeks to reduce the stigma of homelessness by exhibiting the clients’ artwork alongside established artists." (Source: ArtSpeaks)

ArtSpeaks volunteers at the registration desk
This event was made possible by the large number of volunteers from the community and a good number of corporate sponsors who provided the music, food and beverages for the event .
The ArtSpeaks Artists
Thirty-eight artists contributed sculptures, photographs and artwork to the event. Work from community artists was interspersed with the work done by the artists who are homeless or vulnerably-housed. There were no artist bios.

By interspersing art from clients of Shepherds of Good Hope with art from community artists, ArtSpeaks hopes to foster meaningful conversations about how we think about people that we see on the street.

ArtSpeaks sculptures and paintings- Jean Pigott Hall.
ArtSpeaks - Jean Pigott Hall.

ArtSpeaks - Jean Pigott Hall.

There were some "Live Art" demonstrations as well. Accora Village presented Ottawa artist Lauren Foster-MacLeod doing portraits.

Lauren Foster-MacLeod doing portraits.
. Accora Village presents

 Top Shelf Distillers presented a live Bottle Art demonstration by artist Clara Kim.

Artist Clara Kim live painting event

 Tom Hogan (1955-2014)

The artwork that was donated by the Ottawa School of Art by artist Tom Hogan (1955-2014) sold very quickly!

In a lot of ways, Tom Hogan symbolizes for me why this ArtSpeak event is so incredibly important.

Tom Hogan's Personal life

"Tom Hogan was born October 31, 1955, in Sioux Lookout in northern Ontario. After being abandoned at the age of one year by his Ojibway mother and Irish father, Hogan was raised in foster homes. He was abused as a child by foster parents, and began sniffing glue and drinking alcohol at age thirteen. At seventeen, Hogan was convicted of attempted robbery of a jewelry store, and served two and half years in the Stony Mountain prison in Manitoba.After his release from prison, Hogan was mostly homeless on the streets of Winnipeg and Ottawa. He suffered from alcoholism throughout his life. Hogan died on January 17, 2014, in Ottawa, Ontario, from heart and liver failure."

Tom Hogan's Art

"Hogan's paintings are considered part of the Woodlands style of First Nations art, founded by Norval Morrisseau. His paintings used bright colours, and portrayed animals and First Nations mythical figures in outline form. Hogan donated 200 of his paintings to the Ottawa School of Art at his death, with the proceeds of sold paintings going to scholarships for struggling artists." (Source: Wikipedia)
 My Painting And A Red Dot!

I was delighted as the night went on to see a "red dot" on my artwork "All Acts Of Kindness". A "red dot" meant that someone had purchased it and it would go on to a "new home".

My painting "All Acts Of Kindness"(5x7 mixed media)

I opted to donate 100% of the sales of my painting to the Shepherds of Good Hope because I am eternally grateful for all of the work that they do.
"The Shepherds of Good Hope is one of the largest not-for-profit organization dedicated to the needs of homeless and vulnerably-housed in the city of Ottawa. They provide around-the-clock, comprehensive services to both women and men, most of whom live with addictions, mental health challenges and trauma. From a 254 bed shelter, to their 5 supportive living residences across the City of Ottawa, over 450 men and women sleep in their facilities each night. By offering innovative programs and services in a non-judgemental environment, Shepherds of Good Hope is creating a community for all through acceptance, compassion and care."(Source: Shepherds of Good Hope)

The Shepherds of Good Hope sums it up best: "Homelessness can happen to anyone, but Art helps to show that those we serve are so much more than 'homeless'. They are people with hopes, and dreams, and talents, like everyone else. They matter."

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